Saturday, March 13, 2010

Phil is coming home!

It's been awhile since we've had much to blog about. However, Phil is officially on his way home! He spent the past two weeks at a German base in Afghanistan. He called often and spoke only of the kicker games he played and the non-alcoholic beer he was drinking. He told me, more than once, that he felt like he was on a European vacation.

His vacation has ended and the guys are back to transition housing (aka tents packed full of guys). Don't worry, it's a good thing! His team has joined up and will soon be leaving the country. It will still be a few weeks until he is fully home, but it won't be long.

Mark your calendars, we'll be throwing a party sometime in April to celebrate his return...we'll keep you posted!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back to the grind

What a month! Phil was home on leave and he's already back to his FOB. It went fast!

We're really winding down with the deployment now. We're counting weeks instead of months, and before we know it, we'll be counting days. While Phil was home we tried to see as many people as possible. But...we know we missed seeing so many of you. It won't be long before Phil is here and we'll have lots of time to see you all!

Maybe we'll even throw a a new house! We've decided to put our house up on the market and see if we get an offer. We looked at a number of houses in the area when Phil was home and decided now is the time to give it a shot. It's exciting to get things cleaned out, packed up and do some projects around the house while we make it through the last few weeks of the deployment. It gives us something fun to look forward to and push through what many people have told us is the toughest part of a deployment!

Phil is looking forward to being home, we'll keep you in the loop as the days get closer. A great big thank you to all of you who have kept up with him, sent him packages and letters, and prayers. It's been quite a year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We're getting much closer to Phil leaving his FOB to start his journey home. We have heard a few stories of what it's like to travel back home, and I hope Phil's journey is swift!

Another of his team members who is still in the Western part of the country is also headed home this week and I wish him the best in his travels, too. His wife is incredible! They have two girls in college and one son in high school. She keeps everyone going!

Although, I know that I am very lucky to have Phil home during the Christmas and holiday season, I know many, many families who are without their loved ones this Christmas. I hope that you take some time during this week to reflect on those soldiers who are not at home. Their families have an empty place at the table and presents unopened under the tree and are waiting for their soldier to come home safe and sound. Many prayers to those of you in this place. You're on my heart and my mind.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cooling down!

It's been way too long since either of us have given you an update...not much has been happening with Phil. Just working a lot! Sounds like he's met some pretty interesting people. I can't wait for him to be home to share his experiences with us even more.

The weather has started cooling off. Their temperatures rival ours here in the Midwest. They've had some snow already, too. Although, not quite as much as what dumped on us last week!

Phil will be home in a few weeks for leave, then he'll be back to his FOB for a few more months. We're definitely on the downhill slide. Bring it on!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Greetings from the North

Hello everyone,

I have a decent internet connection right now, so I thought I would stop in and try and add a short post to the blog.

The new unit I'm with seems to really understand the concept of mentoring the Afghans and winning the hearts and minds of the local populice, so that is very good to see. We are doing a lot of good things up here for the Afghan people, and they seem to be appreciative of that. Whenever we go downtown to mentor our police counterparts we go on foot patrols through the city to talk with the locals and of course buy some local food. Everyone we've met so far has been very friendly, one local baker even gave us a free sample of what looked like a donut hole that you would get an an Indian resturant.

I was fortunate enough to have lunch at a Generals house a couple days ago. It was a meal fit for a king. The Afghans certainly know how to entertain. We started off with fresh fruit from the area. Then they brought out this calzone looking thing that had fried onions, tomatoes, and meat in it. Then came the lamb kabobs, about 9 per person... and of course the typical nan with rice and lamb meat. The best though was this ravioli looking dish. It was fancy ravioli noodles filled with meat and topped with a tomato sauce and yogurt. Afghan yogurt is far different from ours though. They let their yogurt ferment for a long time becuase they like the sour taste. It's different, but pretty good.

Other than that I'm just waiting for the snow to start flying. This hot weather is getting very old.

Take care,


Friday, September 18, 2009

Southern Afghanistsan

And a few more...

Southern Afghanistan

Here are a few pics as promised in the previous post.

Phil is the guy on the left with the moustache. He's hard to recognize! He has removed it more recently...

Phil has said to me many times that he feels like he's living in the Old Testament or at least seeing what it must have looked like during Bible times. Apparently this area gets pretty green during the spring - not so much this time of year!

This load is one of MANY that Phil has seen. You'll have to ask him the stories, but this is a small load compared to some he has seen, including cars on top of buses! I don't know how this truck doesn't tip over.